R.E. Olds Transportation Museum Logo

The Curved Dash Oldsmobile

The Curved Dash exemplifies the principles that R.E. Olds sought in a automobile. It was relatively simple, affordable, and provided an excellent alternative to its greatest competitor at the time: the horse. Olds was able to promote the vehicle as a form of transportation which was cheaper and more dependable than a horse. The success of the Curved Dash was enough to help the Oft-maligned automobile industry gain legitimacy. The Curved Dash Olds paved the way for later automobile successes such as the Model T.

The Curved Dash is considered to be the first high production automobile. 1901 was the first full year of production for this vehicle and between then and its final production run in 1907, almost 11,000 were produced. By 1909 companies like Ford were producing that many automobiles in a single year. However, back in 1901 most manufacturers were counting yearly production in dozens rather than hundreds or thousands.

The Museum currently has two Curved Dash Oldsmobiles on display. One is a 1901 and the other is a 1903 that was given to Michigan State University from R.E. Olds himself.

The Curved Dash Oldsmobile
The Curved Dash Oldsmobile